Kudoz is a new adult learning platform in British Columbia. ‘Kudoers’, adults with a cognitive disability, book in-person experiences with volunteer Hosts, who share their passions in one-hour learning experiences. Kudoz comes from two years ethnography and service prototyping; it is now scaling inside three large disability organizations. Most disability services focus on safety. Adults like Mark, with severe autism, are stuck in segregated services where they do the same things on repeat By brokering adults to novel experiences, Kudoz expands people’s networks and their sense of self. It’s not difficult to generate with ideas for better services. It is hard to make them happen within big social sector organizations that lack the resource and expertise for research and development.
Behind Kudoz are 5 key design features: (1) a new experience for volunteers; (2) a new role: the curator, to shape learning experiences; (3) a new kind of face-to-face interaction between adults and volunteers (4) a new measurement system; (5) a new backend system. Kudoz is a partnership between a social design agency, three large disability service providers, and a government funder. What makes it so innovative is it marks a shift from traditional services to distributed platforms; from paid professionals providing care to brokering users to in-community learning experiences. Making this shift has required innovation at all levels – from co-designing new end user interactions to developing new backend systems to rewriting procurement policy to re-training staff to measuring what matters.
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